Chef Rene Brunet is a loveable and most entertaining chef who was brought in to teach a few Foodies a thing or two in the kitchen (ok, and a few colourful words in French). You would think this would be a stressful situation but Chef Brunet had full command of his kitchen and getting the Foodies IN the kitchen was clever.
We’re not here to just sit back and enjoy a meal hosted by tasteUS.ca Nooooope. We’re here to work for our lunch. OK, work…is a loose description as the Foodies had tons of fun massaging olive oil into gorgeous, plump breasts (yo, their real and they were spectacular!). Ok, chicken breasts people…get y’er mind back in the kitchen.
There were 17 of us at lunch and each of us had a job. Mine was to slice apples for the main dish to be included with the chicken dish. Tough job…but someone had to do it. Actually it was the star of the main dish…the juicy apples were from Washington.
The kind folks from the US Food & Beverage Alliance hosted this enjoyable event here for the launch of their new website and to remind us Canadians that while we have some fantastic produce and agricultural offerings, our neighbours down south can often help fill in the seasonal gaps when our own supply just isn’t available. They respect our culture and our support of local farmers, but hey, sometimes we just crave goodness that we can’t grow here or is just simply not in season.
There are great recipes available on the tasteUS.ca website. I don’t know about you, but after a couple weeks of holiday entertaining and how many pounds of sugar cookies? I’m looking to have a few new recipes on hand!
At the event, we learned how to recreate this very simple, and tasty, chicken dish made with apples. I’ve already made it once for my family and it was an instant hit. I’m planning on making it again this coming weekend to serve to our guests.The dessert…I had to share this recipe with you too – it was undeniably comfort food heaven!
Thyme Scented Chicken with Roasted Apples, Pancetta & Garlic
Recipe Provided by the U.S. Apples Export Council
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp each salt, pepper and paprika
2 of your favourite U.S. apples, unpeeled
8 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup pancetta, cut into matchstick-size pieces
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Trim any extra skin from breasts and discard. Place chicken, oil, thyme, salt, pepper and paprika in a large bowl. Using your hands, evenly rub spices all over chicken. Turn onto a large rimmed baking sheet, skin-side up.
2. Roast chicken in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, core apples and cut each into wedges. After 20 minutes, add garlic and apples, stirring with chicken juices. Spread out in a single layer. Reduce oven temperature to 375F. Continue to roast, 10 minutes. Stir in pancetta. Roast until pancetta is crisp and chicken is cooked through, about 10 more minutes.
Warm Mini Peach Pocket Pies
Recipe Provided by the California Cling Peach Board
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature cut into chunks
1/2 pkg cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 can California Cling sliced peaches in light syrup
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 egg yolk whisked with 1 tsp (5 mL) water
Granulated sugar for sprinkling
1. Place butter, cream cheese and salt in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until well blended. Gradually add flour, beating just until blended. Form into 6 equal-size balls. Wrap each with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour.
2. Place 1/4 cup (50 mL) peach syrup in a medium pot, then drain remaining peaches really well. Stir cornstarch with peach syrup until dissolved. Chop well-drained peaches, into pieces no larger than 1/2-inch (1-cm). Add to pot along with lemon juice and spices. Stir well.
3. Set over medium heat, stirring continuously until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes Set aside to cool completely.
4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375F. Dust counter with flour. Slice 3 balls in half. Roll each into a circle measuring about 5-inches (12.5 cm). Place about 2 tbsp (30 mL) peach mixture in centre of each. Brush egg mixture around edges of pastry. Fold pastry over filling to form a semi-circle, Press edges together to seal. Then roll edges over again to seal really well.
5. Place on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with egg mixture, cut a small slit in tops with knife, then sprinkle with sugar. Bake in centre of preheated oven until golden, about 20 minutes. Repeat with remaining 3 balls while these are baking. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 12 mini pies
Hungry now? Me too…if you get a chance check out their website for delicious recipes and more at www.tasteUS.ca
This post was not sponsored nor was I compensated. I was fed really well at the event and was inspired to get back into the kitchen with a few fresh new ideas. Experiences are my own.